633 East Cabrillo Boulevard Santa Barbara, CA 93103 1.800.879.2929
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Book your stay From $179 a night

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Resort History

The Natural Beauty is Key to the Perfect California Resort


Santa Barbara remained a sleepy pueblo until late in the nineteenth century, when wealthy easterners, reading newspaper descriptions of the wonderful climate, health-giving springs, and natural beauty, began arriving for extended vacations.

Enjoy Our Santa Barbara Historic Hotel

The Fess Parker – A Doubletree by Hilton Resort was built in 1986 with the goal of capturing the architectural details reflected in our Mission and Spanish colonial history.

Our resort was the site for two locomotive roundhouses constructed by the Southern Pacific Railroad. The first stood between 1911 and 1925, when the June 29, 1925, earthquake severely damaged it. Miss Pearl Chase of the Plans and Planting Committee, Community Arts Association convinced the railroad to design the new building in the Spanish style for which Santa Barbara was becoming famous. The beautiful result resembled the bullring in Seville, Spain.

From 1926 to 1961 the roundhouse and engine turntable serviced the Southern Pacific’s steam locomotives transporting freight unloaded at historic Stearns Wharf; by 1961 the coast route had converted to diesel power. The structure was then remodeled for warehouse use and the turntable was removed. In September 1982, the roundhouse was demolished to make way for a resort. The resort’s distinctive Plaza Del Sol symbolizes the historic roundhouse.

  • The Fess Parker – A Doubletree by Hilton Resort was built in 1986
  • Designed in the Spanish style famous in Santa Barbara
  • Ground floor of the resort symbolizes the historic railroad roundhouse that once stood on the site

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